The adaptation experience of Chinese independent immigrants




Li, Yali

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Chinese independent immigrants are entering Canada in increasing numbers. Immigration policy indicates that these individuals have skills that will enable them to quickly integrate into Canadian society. However, more than half of the Chinese independent immigrants live below the poverty line in Canada. In order to gain insight into the integration process, eight independent immigrants living in Victoria, B.C. were invited to participate in a qualitative exploration. Through in-depth interviews, the participants shared their experiences and perceptions of adaptation. The participants revealed that their views were very different from the findings of previous researchers and government policies. For these participants, contribution to society was viewed as a priority. They saw the integration process as a hierarchy, with level of motivation as the main determinant that allowed them to move through various stages. Other factors identified by the participants that aided their immigrant adaptation were favorable government policies, supportive host society members, and adaptation competence. Those factors that hindered adaptation included high-level language requirements, a sluggish Canadian economy, racial discrimination, ineffective integration services and their Chineseness. The participants made several suggestions to improve the integration process: transitional services, better information dissemination, and an immigrant education program with co-op and volunteer opportunities.



Chinese, British Columbia, Immigrants